SINGAPORE: Singapore was on Saturday (Sep 28) re-elected to the council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), an agency of the United Nations.
This took place at the 40th session of the ICAO Assembly in Montreal, Canada, which runs from Sep 24 to Oct 4.
“We are honoured to be re-elected to the council of ICAO and by the support of our fellow ICAO member states,” said Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan, who led the Singapore delegation to the ICAO Assembly.
“We will continue to contribute actively to the advancement of the ICAO’s mission.”
The council is the ICAO’s governing body and comprises 36 members elected for a three-year term.
Singapore was first elected to the ICAO council in 2003, at an extraordinary assembly session that was convened to fill three new council seats. It was re-elected in 2004 and in subsequent elections at the triennial assemblies.
“Grateful to our friends from around the world for their strong and consistent support. We are moved by their friendship and their confidence in us,” said Mr Khaw in a Facebook post on Sunday.
“We are committed to deepening our partnerships with the ICAO, all fellow members, as well as other transport and civil aviation authorities.”
In a media release, the Ministry of Transport said Singapore contributes as a member of more than 100 ICAO expert groups to help shape international standards in areas such as civil aviation training and human resource development, air traffic management, aviation safety, aviation security and facilitation.
It holds leadership positions in around 20 of these groups.
“We will continue to play a constructive and effective role to achieve the goals and vision of ICAO, to help raise the standards of safety and efficiency of global aviation and to ensure that no country is left behind,” said Mr Khaw.
Singapore’s re-election to the ICAO council comes as the organisation is debating ways to minimise the civil aviation sector’s impact on the environment.
The ICAO assembly was suspended for a day as Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg led a march through Montreal as part of a global wave of strikes against climate change.
Commercial flying accounts for 2.5 per cent of carbon emissions, but with passenger numbers forecast to double by 2037, experts say emissions will rise if more is not done.
"Indeed the aviation industry needs to clean up further using better fuels that pollute less," Mr Khaw said in an earlier post on Friday. "In land transport, electric vehicles are good solutions. We need such equivalents in aviation."
While ICAO cannot impose regulations, it sets standards that are approved by its 193 member countries.
In 2016, it brokered the first global industrial climate initiative with a medium-term scheme to help airlines avoid adding to their net emissions from 2020.
The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation requires most airlines to limit emissions or offset them by purchasing credits from environmental projects.